Back in 1978, the world was a bit different. There was no Raspberry Pi, no Internet, and not even an ESP32 to build projects with. And rather than order electronics kits from Tindie or Adafruit, [Dr. Francitosh] selected this binary clock with his mother from a catalog, and made the order via mail. Simpler times. The good Doctor, AKA [Greg Smith], was a young electronics tinkerer, and his mother wanted a good project-in-a-box to show off his skills. Thus, a Greymark Binary Clock was ordered and assembled. Then, sadly, the beloved clock crashed from its proud mantle position, doomed to never to blink or blip again. Or was it?
Continue reading “Binary Clock Kit Blips Again”
If a hacker guardian angel exists, then we’re sure he or she was definitely AWOL for six long years from [Aaron Eiche]’s life as he worked on perfecting and making his Christmas Countdown clock. [Aaron] started this binary clock project in 2016, and only managed to make it work as expected in 2022 after a string of failures.
In case you’d like to check out his completed project first, then cut the chase and head over to his Github repository for his final, working version. The hardware is pretty straightforward, and not different from many similar projects that we’ve seen before. A microcontroller drives a set of LED’s to show the time remaining until Christmas Day in binary format. The LEDs show the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds until Christmas and it uses two buttons for adjustments and modes. An RTC section wasn’t included in the first version, but it appeared and disappeared along the six year journey, before finding a spot in the final version.
The value of this project doesn’t lie in the final version, but rather in the lessons other hackers, specially those still in the shallow end of the pool, can learn from [Aaron]’s mistakes. Thankfully, the clock ornament is not very expensive to build, so [Aaron] could persevere in improving it despite his annual facepalm moments.
Continue reading “Fail Of The Week: Epic 312 Weeks Of Fixing A Broken Project”
Most of us learn to read digital clocks first, which display the time in obvious numbers. Analog clocks are often learned later, with the hands taking our young brains a little longer to figure out. Once you’ve grown into a 1337h4XX0r, though, you’re ready to learn how to read a binary watch. Then you can build your own, just like [taifur] did.
The watch rocks a simplistic, bare bones design with the PCB acting as the body of the device itself. It’s not great for water resistance, or even incidental contact, but it’s a sharp look with the golden traces on display. The heart of the operation is a ATmega328P, as seen in the popular Arduino Uno, and it’s paired with a DS3231M real-time clock module to keep accurate time. 13 SMD LEDs are charged with displaying the time in binary format, with [taifur] choosing to spec a classic red color for the build. The watch is powered via a CR2032 coin cell, which you’re best advised not to swallow. So far, [taifur] has found the watch will last for over a month before the battery is tapped out.
It’s a fun build, and one that looks good when paired with a classic NATO watch strap in green. If, however, you desire a watch that definitely won’t last a month on a single coin cell, you can always build a Nixie watch instead. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Binary Watch Rocks A Bare PCB With Pride”
Should a clock be round? Depends on the style of clock, we suppose. After all, we wouldn’t expect to see a digital clock with a round readout just for fun. But a binary clock — that’s another animal altogether. Whereas [JohnThinger] made just a few weeks back a linear binary clock using an RGB LED strip and an ATtiny, he decided it would look much better in the round.
Before you go decrying the fact that there are numbers other than 1 and 0 on the thing, those are simply the power of two by which one must multiply to get the time. And naturally, it’s done in three phases, with the yellow-green numbers representing the seconds, the pink-red representing minutes, and the blue standing for the current hour. No, the point is not to make life easier. But it’s a good-looking clock, no?
Just as before, an ATtiny85 is the brain, with an RTC chip and an oscillator to keep time. But now, the display involves negative space 3D-printed numbers and an RGB LED ring. Be sure to check it out after the break.
Continue reading “Circular Binary Clock Uses The Power To Tell Time”
There are many ways to tell the time, from using analog dials to 7-segment displays. Hackers tend to enjoy binary watches, if only for their association with the digital machines that seem to make the world turn these days. [Vishal Soni] decided to build one of their own.
It’s a straightforward design, that uses six bits to show the time. A red light is illuminated at the top of the watch to indicate the watch is showing minutes, and these are displayed in binary on the six blue LEDs below. Then, the watch indicates it is showing hours, and again uses the six blue LEDs to show the relevant number. Continue reading “Simple Binary Watch Uses A PCB Body”
Ah, the 5mm LED. Once a popular choice, they’ve been supplanted in modernity by smaller SMD components and/or more capable RGB parts in recent years. However, they’re still able to do the job and are a great way to give your project that proper homebrew look. [Ian Dunn] chose those very parts to produce his 4017 Decade Binary Clock.
The clock uses only digital logic ICs to tell the time – there are no microcontrollers here! After four or five iterations over almost a whole year, [Ian] was finally able to coax the circuit into reliable operation. As you’d expect, it relies on a 32.768 kHz crystal to provide a stable clock. Fed into a 4060 binary ripple counter, that clock is divided down 14 times to deliver a 2Hz square wave. This then goes through a 4027 flip flop to get the desired 1Hz signal. From there, a bunch of extra logic handles counting the seconds, minutes, and hours, and resetting the counters as appropriate.
The PCB that houses the project is printed on directly by a flatbed inkjet printer, which [Ian] purchased when inspired by our previous article on how to get your PCBs made at the mall. He didn’t actually use it to make the PCB in this case, but the flatbed printer does a great job of putting graphics on the board.
The result is quite an attractive look that might surprise a few electronics enthusiasts who haven’t seen a graphic printed board before. It’s a technique we think could be used to great effect on conference badges, too. If you’ve experimented with similar techniques, be sure to drop us a line!
When was the last time you looked forward to looking at a clock? Not to find out the time per se — like gee, maybe it’s beer o’ clock already — but waited with bated breath to gaze upon a particular clock? Never? We don’t blame you, but only because you haven’t seen this fruit machine clock in action yet.
Every 60 seconds, the reels start spinning like some little man inside pulled the lever on a slot machine (or fruit machine, as they’re called across the pond). The reels slow down and stop one by one, left to right, settling on the four digits of time in 24-hour mode. Imagine the suspense of coming to see what time it is just as the reels start spinning!
[timebanditclock] grew this fruit machine out of old-school discrete logic beautifully applied to stripboard. Each of the reels has a DIY binary encoder that uses IR transmit/receive pairs to generate a binary word. These four binary words are compared to a binary clock module using comparators.
We think this is an amazing concept already, but then [timebanditclock] worked overtime by doing it all in discrete logic. Spin past the break to see a demo and stick around for the build video.
Want a challenging clock build that’s a little less challenging? Maybe it’s time to try circuit sculpture.
Continue reading “Time Bandit Clock Hits The Aesthetic Jackpot”